One of the cool announcements at CES 2018 was Lenovo’s Mirage Solo, an untethered 6DOF standalone VR headset and its Mirage Camera, a Google VR180 camera.
I’m kicking myself from missing out on the Lenovo presscon at CES! On Sunday I asked the Lenovo rep if they had any 360 or VR related announcements and she said no, so I took her at her word and made other arrangements. Lo and behold they had two major product announcements for VR and 360. Anyway…
MIRAGE SOLO HEADSET
Lenovo Mirage Solo is an exciting VR headset that uses two cameras for inside-out tracking without the need for an external tracking device. It is the first headset available for Google Daydream 2.0 standalone VR. Here are its key features:
– 6DOF: Mirage Solo has positional tracking, so it can track movement in any direction, unlike mobile headsets such as Gear VR that can only track head rotation
– Untethered: Unlike desktop VR systems such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Playstation VR, the Mirage Solo is untethered by cables that otherwise detract from immersion.
– Standalone: Mirage Solo is a standalone VR headset that doesn’t have to be paired with a phone or desktop to work. This makes it easy to use it right away.
Mirage Solo’s controller is the same motion controller in Daydream headsets. It also has access to the Daydream library in addition to software that will be designed for Daydream 2.0.
I didn’t get the chance to try the Mirage Solo but early reviews say that the headset tracking works well, but the controller only has 3-axis rotational tracking, which means games that use positional tracking will have to be redesigned for use with Mirage Solo.
Mirage Solo will be $399, available Spring 2018. Meanwhile, you can also get the Oculus Rift for $399, with the largest library of games available (thanks to compatibility with Steam VR). Rift is also compatible with Adobe Premiere, so you can view your 360 videos in VR within Premiere.
MIRAGE VR180 CAMERA
To complement the release of the Mirage Solo, Lenovo also announced the Mirage Camera, a Google VR180 camera. When its videos are viewed without a headset, the video appears as a static 4K video. But when viewed in a VR headset, you can see a hemispherical VR view in 3D.
Compared to the recently announced Yi Horizon, the VR180 appears to be lower spec with a 4K 360 video resolution (versus the Horizon’s 6K resolution). Moreover, the Horizon has a flip up LCD touchscreen whereas the VR180 has no LCD and instead uses a smartphone for viewing its photos and videos (the Yi Horizon can likewise connect to a smartphone).
On the other hand, it appears the Mirage Camera may cost less than the Yi Horizon. The Mirage Camera will be $299 in Spring 2018, while the Horizon is expected to be around $399 (the same price as the Yi 360 VR, which has the same sensors).
Let me know what you think of the Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera!